Around 26% of the UK population owns a dog. Dogs are our favourite pet, and there’s nothing more special than bringing a new puppy into your home. If you’re counting down the days until you add a new member to the family, or you’ve recently bought a puppy, here are some tips to ensure you have everything you need for a healthy, happy pooch.
Bedding and blankets
For the first few weeks of their lives, most puppies spend a great deal of time snuggled up with their mum and their siblings surrounded by bedding and blankets. When you bring your pup home, you want to make the transition as easy as possible and ensure they’re warm and cosy. It’s a good idea to invest in a bed before your new furry friend joins the fold and to add a couple of blankets for extra comfort. You may find that your puppy likes to cuddle up with you when they first arrive, but it won’t take them long to find their bed.
We all know that puppies are playful and sometimes a little mischievous too. Toys are a great addition to your home when you have a young dog, as they entertain and amuse puppies, but they also minimise the risk of chewing things that aren’t designed for canine consumption, such as slippers and chair legs. Look for toys that are designed specifically for puppies, and buy a variety to prevent boredom and stimulate your pooch. If you spend a lot of time going in and out of the house, it’s worth looking at puppy pens. If you have a pen, your puppy can play and rest in a secure place, and you’ll have peace of mind that they’re safe and sound while you’re out. You can find toys and pens at pet shops or order online. When your puppy is older, and you can take it out to play, buy some toys that you can throw like frisbees and balls. This will encourage them to run off steam and ensure they get plenty of exercise.
Every dog needs to eat, and it’s crucial to buy the right food for your puppy. Puppy food is slightly different to adult food, and it contains extra nutrients that aid growth and development. There’s a vast array of brands and flavours available, so try some out, and see which your pup prefers. You may find that they wolf some down, but they’re indifferent about others. Ask your vet if you need advice about which food to buy. Most dogs enjoy a diet of meat mixed with vegetables and biscuits. Try not to feed your dog bits off your plate. Not all human delicacies are suitable for dogs, and your pooch may get into the habit of begging at mealtimes with those puppy dog eyes that are impossible to resist. As your dog grows, it’s worth buying chew sticks to protect their teeth, freshen the breath and reduce the risk of chewing clothing and household items. Always remember to put out a fresh bowl of water for your dog and to top it up throughout the day.
Picture courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/puppy-golden-retriever-dog-pet-1189067/
When you have a dog, you need to take steps to look after them as best you can. Dogs groom themselves, but they don’t tend to be as meticulous as cats, and it can be difficult for them to reach all areas. Grooming helps to prevent knots and matted fur and keeps the coat in good condition. Brush your dog once every couple of days if your pup is long-haired and at least once a week if it is a short-haired breed. It’s also beneficial to bath your dog on a regular basis. You may also wish to treat your furry friend to a trip to a grooming salon for a trim and a pamper from time to time.
As a dog owner, you have a responsibility to do everything you can to protect your pooch from illness. Make sure you’re up to date with vaccinations and flea and worming treatments and don’t hesitate to seek advice from your vet if you have any questions or concerns.
Dogs are incredibly special creatures, and they play an integral part in family life for many of us. If you’ve recently bought a puppy, or you’re waiting to bring a new canine friend into your home, hopefully, you’ll find this guide useful. Puppies require a lot of looking after, but all the effort is worth it when you come home to the warmest of welcomes every single time you walk through the door.